Dr. Barry Prentice - Founder & President

Dale George - Founder & CTO

Dr. Barry Prentice - Founder & President

Ross Prentice - CEO

Lisa George - Managing Director, Marketing & Communications

Sarfraz Ahmed - Design Engineer

Dan Klippenstein - Operations Advisor

Mario Mantaci - Chief Engineer

Larry Pinto

Dr. Barry Prentice - Co-founder and President

Dr. Prentice is a Professor at the University of Manitoba and the former Director (1996-2005) of the Transport Institute. His major research and teaching interests include logistics, transportation economics, northern transport and trade policy. Dr. Prentice holds a degree in economics from University of Western Ontario (1973) and graduate degrees from University of Guelph (MSc, 1979) and University of Manitoba (PhD, 1986).

Dr. Prentice has authored or co-authored more than 250 research reports, journal articles and contributions to books. His scholarly work has been recognized for excellence in national paper competitions and awards. In 1999, National Transportation Week named him Manitoba Transportation Person of the Year.

In 2009, Dr. Prentice was made a Life-time Member of the Canadian Transportation Research Forum. Dr. Prentice was instrumental in founding a major in transportation and logistics within the B.Comm. (Hons.) Program at the I. H. Asper School of Business (fall 2003). Since that time a new Department of Supply Chain Management has been formed, and in 2006 a M.Sc. program in supply chain management was initiated.

Dr. Prentice has served on the Boards of Directors of several transportation organizations: National Transportation Week (President, 2001 and 2003), Honourary President of the Canadian Institute for Traffic and Transportation (2001-3) and the Canadian Transportation Research Forum (Past President, 1997). Dr. Prentice is the President of ISO Polar Airships that he co-founded in 2005 as a not-for-profit research institute to promote the use of airships as sustainable transport for the northern latitudes. He has organized five Airships to the Arctic conferences to promote the use of buoyant aircraft for serving remote locations.

Dale George - Co-founder & CTO

Dale has a passion for all things that fly and started building and flying radio controlled unmanned aircraft when he was very young. He graduated with honours in Industrial Design at Georgian College of Applied Arts & Technology. He has won many awards including the prestigious Premier’s Award for technology and the Design Canada Award for his famous yellow playground slide which is sold in over 120 countries.

Dale also worked closely with JPL and NASA, Ames, Moffett Field to develop an LTA aircraft to fly Io, Titan and Mars. Dale was instrumental in the design of the world’s first high altitude wind turbine known as the Magenn Air Rotor which was featured on Discovery Chanel’s Planet Earth series, “Infinite Winds”.

Dale has been a guest of honour at many conferences including the Innovation Center at Waterloo University and he was a recent keynote speaker on unmanned aircraft at the Manitoba Aviation Council’s annual meeting.

Dale received his pilot’s license many years ago and has built and flown a number of aircraft including Airships.

Ross Prentice - CEO

Ross has a strong background in transportation and is truly passionate about understanding how it shapes our world. In addition to a professional designation in logistics, he has worked for nearly 20 years in the intermodal transportation industry.

By the nature of his family relationship, Ross kept abreast of nearly all things related to cargo airships for his entire life. Over the years he has contributed multiple volunteer hours assisting with a variety of things including the assembly, testing and ground handling of a research airship.

Along with this practical experience, he has a strong desire to help less fortunate people. The cargo airship industry has a chance to improve the quality of life of people who are living in remote communities in Canada and around the world.  

His background, along with many years working and understanding transportation business process and practice, has prepared Ross to lead BASI into the next phase of development.

Mario Mantaci, P.Eng. - BASI Chief Engineer

President and Founder of DUMA Engineering Inc.

Mario started his career as a lead mechanical designer at SKF in Turin, Italy and Gothenburg, Sweden.

After a few years, he joined Rodriquez Engineering as Engineering Manager for Genova and Messina Shipyards where he gained considerable experience in the design of high-speed crafts and hydrofoils.

Mario also covered technical and executive positions in the Aerospace Industry as Program Manager Director at Aviointeriors and Supplier Program Manager at Boeing.

Prior to founding DUMA Engineering, he was Corporate Manager of Engineering and Processes at Motor Coach Industries in Winnipeg, Canada.

Mario holds a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy. He's been a member of the National Italian College of Engineers since 1994, Registered Professional Engineer in Canada since 2006 and a Certified ISO Auditor.

Lisa George, MBA - BASI Managing Director, Marketing & Communications

President and Founder of ASC (A Simplify Company - Advisory Services)

Lisa has been in the consumer product management sector for over 25 years with companies such as Disney, IBM and Union Energy. In addition, she has been an executive member on regulatory committees within business to business (B2B) environments.

Her passion is understanding customer’s needs and aspirations, and then effectively working cross functionally to streamline growth and increase profit. She specializes in leadership to oversee operations and overall performance by developing and translating business strategies into logical, measurable objectives that are easy to understand. Her experience managing projects including financial profit and loss confirms her ability to engage in high level corporate problem solving.

Lisa is an IBM Certified Management Consultant and holds a Masters of Business Administration from University of Fredericton, Sandermoen School of Business.

Dan Klippenstein - Operations Advisor

Dan Klippenstein is the President and a director of Excel Playgreen Group Inc. He completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture at the University of Manitoba in 1979 and majored in Animal Science. Dan completed a Masters of Business Administration degree at the University of Manitoba in 1994. Upon completion of his MBA degree, Dan established Excel Pork Farms Ltd. which offers investment opportunities in the hog industry.

In 1994, Dan raised $1,250,000 to build Excel Pork Limited Partnership which is still operating today. Dan created Excel Playgreen Group Inc. in 1998 to manage the limited partnership farms. By 2000, Dan had raised an additional $6.5 million and initiated three more limited partnership hog farm investments by private placement offerings. Dan managed the construction and developed the management programs for the farms. Excel Playgreen Group Inc. manages a total of $17,000,000 in farm assets and $12,000,000 in sales annually. Mr. Klippenstein's experience in business management and investment development provides the knowledge and experience to develop a successful business in the airship industry.

Sarfraz Ahmed, B.Sc. Eng., P.Eng. - Design Engineer

Sarfraz is a Mechanical Engineer with over 5 years combined engineering experience with BASI and Motor Coach Industries. As a Design Engineer at BASI, Sarfraz has worked on several design development projects to date with varying levels of technology readiness (from concept to realization), collaborating with private and national research facilities, academia and industrial partners.

He's inspired by zero-emissions and Airship technology and passionate about contributing towards development of airborne transport infrastructure for remote communities around the globe.

Sarfraz holds a Mechanical Engineering degree (Aerospace Conc.) from University of Manitoba and is the recipient of '2016 Friends of Engineering - Student of the Year' award. He is a certified member of Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba since 2016 and registered member with Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Manitoba since 2013.

Larry Pinto

Larry Pinto has been flying for over 53 years having accumulated more than 23,000 hours; significantly, 12 years of this was in the Arctic flying out of Yellowknife across the Canadian North as well as operating from Thompson along into the communities on the Eastern Shore of Lake Winnipeg and the Keewatin. These operations involved transporting Passengers and Freight in often harsh weather conditions.

He has worldwide experience flying Jet, Turbo-prop and piston style engine aircraft in all kinds of conditions and circumstances.

In addition Larry has been the lead in the issuance of three separate Transport Canada Operating Certificates, which were all successfully obtained in very tight timelines, as well as participation in a TCCA CAIRAC committee.

Buoyant Aircraft Systems currently operates out of their research facility located near Midland, Ontario. This facility is focused on developing new materials and methods to secure helium and hydrogen for use as a fuel and lift in cargo airships. For more information please contact Dale George at (705) 433-3034.